Looking Back on 2020: The Year of Pirouettes and Pivots

Looking Back on 2020: The Year of Pirouettes and Pivots

Last year. 2020. The year that so much changed. 2020 was an unprecedented year that caused many of us to pause suddenly. We paused to think, shift, regroup, realign, and to quite frankly, survive. As our country reeled from social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic, we were challenged to practice social distancing, find masks, carry multiple hand sanitizers, address our own biases, and reschedule events and plans. The sudden and unexpected change in life caused us to pause and think and pivot, and yes, learn how to do pirouettes (the act of spinning on one foot while balancing all of life – that’s what I call it). Thoughts and fears of economic strife and downturns, job loss and instability, nonprofit sustainability, and stagnation, in addition to our own livelihoods, loomed in our minds.  It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. 


Yet, as an organization and as a community, we persevered. Did we master the pivot and pirouettes? No. Did we grow and reach new heights while learning how to do so? Absolutely! In the face of uncertainty with a new staff, we learned to host virtual events, mute ourselves on Zoom, and connect with our community, all with kids running in the background -- we pressed on and moved forward. 


Through patience, flexibility, and sheer grit, we worked alongside 70+ amazing and committed volunteers and parent advocates, who helped us execute the first-ever Strides 4 CMV worldwide 5k with over 500 registrants. We received over 2,100 donations in support of the Foundation's work. We expanded our CMV Community Alliance program. We were recognized as a NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) Platinum Member. We funded four CMV research awards. We continue to share countless resources with CMV families. We launched the CMV Partnership Alliance and grew our strategic and mission-aligned partnerships during a year when collaboration was instrumental to organizational survival. And the Foundation participated in training emerging public health leaders through the welcoming of collegiate students as interns. 


So now what? Now that we have endured all of the above, as 2020 showed us, we are preparing for the best and yes, we can pivot if needed. This year we will continue working diligently to strengthen and expand key programming and partnerships, support innovative, high-impact, and meaningful CMV research, as well as advocate for universal CMV screening and a vaccine. We will continue to build upon our activities and initiatives, including our CMV parent database, CMV awareness month, Care to Talk sessions and advocacy training. And we will continue to value you -- our supporters, friends, donors, and families. 


This year, 2021, will be the year we thrive, build, and expand, one pivot at a time. Thank you for traveling this journey with us. 


Mastering pirouettes one day at a time, 

Khaliah Fleming, Executive Director